Kevin Magnussen heads into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix following a late retirement in Miami last-time out, as the Dane sets himself the target of getting back into the points this weekend.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one that every driver knows especially well, it’s also the only other track on the calendar where teams and drivers will have data on how the new cars will perform. The official shakedown test took place at the Spanish circuit in February, meaning the Haas F1 Team will have plenty of data at their disposal.
Magnussen is looking forward to the weekend at a circuit which he thinks will suit Haas’ car, he also isn’t letting the fact he didn’t run in the test faze him.
“Barcelona is probably the Formula 1 track I know the best out of all of them. I don’t think it’s going to be such a big disadvantage not having driven there in testing. The car is performing well, it’s been very good at four of the five tracks we’ve been at, so I think it’s going to do well there too.
“Our car is pretty good all-round – it’s been good in wet conditions, dry conditions and intermediate. It’s like always, you need to get the car into the window, and I think we’ve done a decent job of that this year.”
This weekend is set to see a number of teams introduce upgrades to their car, something which Magnussen believes is making this season “interesting”.
“I think there’s probably a good chance that the competitive order is going to change around a little bit this year. We’ve seen Mercedes out of shape, sometimes Alfa Romeo has been up there almost with podium pace and other times we’ve been up there, so the competition is very tight, and I think it’s going to make for an interesting season.
“It’s not fun if you know that you can’t be competitive and this time there is no way to say that you can’t be competitive, everyone has a chance. I think it’s way more interesting and a lot more fun – I’m certainly enjoying my time.”
“I don’t think we understand the car a hundred percent yet” – Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher’s hunt for his first Formula 1 point continues, after a late move on Sebastian Vettel in Miami saw the German drop out of the points places.
This weekend presents Schumacher with a fresh shot at a top ten finish, his odds may be more in his favour having driven at the track during February’s test.
“If it puts us at an advantage, I wouldn’t think so, at least not more compared to the other teams and drivers – it will be the same for everybody at the end. We will maybe have to learn the track less but anyway we don’t need to learn the track as we’ve driven there so much in the past that it’s like printed in my brain in a way.
“The track conditions will be very different, the temperature is probably 20 degrees different to when we tested there, so the entire way the tyre works will shift as well. I think that the advantage is maybe there minimally, not because we’ve tested there but because we know the track so well.”
Schumacher has so far been stuck in Magnussen’s shadow in 2022, the young German driver isn’t feeling completely at home with the car yet. Despite this, Schumacher is excited for the weekend ahead.
“I don’t think we understand the car 100 percent yet – I think nobody does – because we are still trying to figure out reasons why the car behaves as it does and try to understand them. We also have updates that come in and those can make it difficult to understand it further because you keep on developing.
“If the car stayed the same, then you’d perhaps know it a bit better after five races just because it’s the same, but we’re constantly changing to try and make it faster. The track has a lot of great characteristics in how the tyre usually degrades and how the car behaves so I’m looking forward to it and I’m quite excited.”